RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Former Felician College student-athlete Jack Fowler (Shrewsbury, N.J./Red Bank Regional) has signed a professional baseball contract with the Ottawa Champions of the independent Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, commonly known as the Can-Am League. Fowler reported to the Champions in Little Falls, N.J., on Thursday evening in time for a four-game road series against the New Jersey Jackals.
Fowler is the 17th ex-Felician baseball player to sign a pro contract. The complete list can be viewed at www.felicianathletics.com/sports/bsb/archive/pros/#pros.
"This is really a dream come true," said Fowler, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound left-handed pitcher. "I'm happy to be a part of the Ottawa Champions organization, and I'm really excited to get this chance, especially with guys my height often being underrated. It makes me feel like hard work does pay off."
Felician head coach Chris Langan had put out feelers on behalf of some of his seniors, including Fowler, to various professional organizations at the conclusion of the college season. As luck would have it, the Champions were about to place a pitcher on the disabled list as they were heading to Little Falls for the Jackals series, and Ottawa pitching coach Billy Horn contacted Langan. Langan suggested Fowler, a two-time all-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference selection, who quickly made his way to Yogi Berra Stadium for a tryout on Thursday, June 18. Fowler was signed on the spot.
"It's been a crazy 48 hours," Fowler said prior to Saturday evening's contest. "I can't thank coach Langan and the Felician coaching staff enough. I'm just really happy with the way everything has turned out."
Fowler, 22, is Felician's all-time winningest pitcher, posting a career record of 19-15. His collegiate earned-run average of 2.91 is third at Felician, and his 243 career strikeouts rank second. As a junior in 2014, he pitched a school-record 85 2/3 innings and went 10-2 with a 2.10 ERA. He earned three postseason victories, picking up the win in relief in the CACC championship game, and tossing a shutout in the NCAA Division II East Regional.
Fowler is the only Golden Falcon pitcher to earn all-CACC honors as both a reliever and a starter. A 2011 graduate of Red Bank Regional of Little Silver, he intends to return to Felician in the fall to complete a BS degree in criminal justice.
"I've always wanted to play professional baseball, and that dream just intensified these last four years at Felician," Fowler said. "To get a shot with an affiliated team would be great, but if not, I'm happy to be a part of the Champions and just meet the people you meet along the way."
The current, independent version of the Can-Am League was founded in 2005. The Champions are in their inaugural season, and are managed by former Major League Manager of the Year Hal Lanier.
Fowler is one of four ex-Golden Falcons currently playing professional baseball, joining Aaron Brill, Scott De Jong, and Jerry Vasto.
Felician College, the Franciscan College of New Jersey, is a liberal arts, coeducational Catholic college founded in 1942 and sponsored by the Felician Sisters. True to its mission, Felician College welcomes a diverse student population and embraces its educational needs. With campuses in Lodi and Rutherford, New Jersey, Felician College currently enrolls more than 2,200 students and offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate programs, in the classroom and online, in the arts and sciences, business and management sciences, health sciences and teacher education. Felician College also sponsors 13 varsity intercollegiate sports that compete at the NCAA Division II and National Collegiate levels.